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Thread: How did YOU get into the hobby?

  1. #21
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    Jonathan417's Avatar
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    I am getting my girlfriend a 55g tank for Christmas. I know the care will end up being my responsibility so I am trying to educate myself and be as prepared as possible. It will be her choice of what type of fish we keep but I am assuming she will what a community tropical tank. Looking for any solid advice or tips from experienced aquarists. I am jumping the gun a bit in that we need to move in 6 months, give or take, and am not sure what I am getting myself into when it comes to having to move it. I would like to do real plants but am thinking it would be wise to wait until after the move..? I bought a second tank 35g knowing this move is inevitable. What is the best/safest way to move the fish and aquarium?

    I was referred to this site by Hugh at Riverscape Aquariums who is absolutely outstanding.

  2. #22
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    Welcome :) Hugh and Riverscapes are fantastic!!!

    My first question when I read this... are you getting the fish tank for her... or for you hehe, like when Homer bought Marge a Bowling ball in the Simpsons because he wanted it hehe.

    There are lots of people on here who know their stuff... I've dabbled at a planted tank before but it was not my thing... I since moved on to saltwater setups... But I do have the one Freshwater tank with a Fahaka Puffer... but no plants in there :)

    All I can tell you about the move is protect your filter media as much as your fish and good luck, it won't be fun :) but it's doable for sure :)

    We do require pictures or your setup and progress for you to be a part of this forum Click here to enlarge jk..

    Also you may get more replies if you post this in the "Introduce Yourself" section :)

  3. #23
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    Haha funny observation. To be fair, there is no question that I want it as well. It's a gift that comes with a lot of work/time investment so I realize I need to be involved too. We had a conversation some time ago about our desire to have a large tank that was worthy of being the spectacle of a room, so I decided this is the year. I am really hoping that she will fall in love with the hobby and not just the fish, but I have prepared myself for the worst case scenario (me doing all the maintenance.) Pulling the trigger a little early admittedly considering the upcoming move, but the time is right financially. At least I thought it was but costs are snowballing quickly!!

  4. #24
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    Just remember, fish can not be placed in the tank as soon as it is set up, if you haven't already try looking around for used media to get a jump start on cycle.

    Moving live plants really shouldn't be any harder then moving fish. Unless you plan to do a dirted tank (which is great by the way) But for now I would do unrooted plants, java fern, mosses, anubias and such that tie to ornaments or float would be especially easy to move, so you could stick to those and get the rooted plants after the move. That way you could put minimal substrate in for the few months, and then get better substrate after the move.

    A 55 gallon can be a pain to move, I would stock really light and not bother with an in depth scape, that way you can bag up fish, drain tank and be on your way. Like convict said, saving filter media will be the best when moving, makes for a painless reset up.

    Good thing about this is it will really give you time to get to know your tank, think about where you want to go with it etc, while still have a great tank to look at :)

    Why is the 35 gallon needed?
    ​ DIRTY 4 LIFE
    Once you go dirt, you never go back!!!!!

  5. #25
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    welcome aboard!! and good luck with the tanks :)
    500 gallon fowlr tank


    Scrubber lover #2

  6. #26
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Goldie Click here to enlarge
    Just remember, fish can not be placed in the tank as soon as it is set up, if you haven't already try looking around for used media to get a jump start on cycle.

    Moving live plants really shouldn't be any harder then moving fish. Unless you plan to do a dirted tank (which is great by the way) But for now I would do unrooted plants, java fern, mosses, anubias and such that tie to ornaments or float would be especially easy to move, so you could stick to those and get the rooted plants after the move. That way you could put minimal substrate in for the few months, and then get better substrate after the move.

    A 55 gallon can be a pain to move, I would stock really light and not bother with an in depth scape, that way you can bag up fish, drain tank and be on your way. Like convict said, saving filter media will be the best when moving, makes for a painless reset up.

    Good thing about this is it will really give you time to get to know your tank, think about where you want to go with it etc, while still have a great tank to look at :)

    Why is the 35 gallon needed?

    Yes the plan is to take it slow. No need to be reckless and kill a bunch of fish and I doubt the GF would be very happy with that either. I have done lots of reading and am familiar with with the filter media strategy to speed up the cycle but I am not sure where to get that near Moncton. Anyone know someone here? I read that buying a plant that has just arrived to the store can be another way due to the way the plants are grown...???

    What makes one substrate better than another?

    I have been buying as I find good deals but am still very much a noob and learning lots everyday. That said, I thought I would need a second tank for the move but I have read ice cream containers do the trick. Either way, got a Fluval 305 and that tank with a nice heater and bunch of accessories for $100! Now I just have a quarantine tank or an inevitable second tank down the road:)

    How many fish do you think would be good for the first sixish months until the move? Any suggestions on fish types? Its going to be her choice what goes in there but I would like to have a couple of options to present to her of examples of what we can do. I am thinking it is wise to not be overzealous here and ease into this but also don't want her staring at an empty tank lol.

  7. #27
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    Hey Jonathan how ya doing. Im sure I was at riverscape the sametime as you. Anyways we have guppies that are always breeding. If you want some I will give you some. It's not much for a 55 but I just throw a angel fish in for a week when they get to crowded so I could scoop u out a few females and a male or 2 lit's not much and might be no good to you depending what road you decide to take but let me know.

  8. #28
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    I would go community tank, (my fav) A big school of fav fish, a second smaller school (maybe) of another schooling fish. Corys on the bottom. Maybe a bn plec or a school of oto cats. For the first stocking I think I would get about 6 of each schooling fish, that way they would be comfortable. Then if you like the schools after the move you can add to your schools to make them bigger. If you choose guppies, which are really active fun fish, I would just get males. I like them more, and hated getting overstocked with all the babies :( With plants too many survive for my liking. There are so many different fish to choose from and types of tanks its hard to suggest anything.

    The qt tank is a good idea :) I never add to an established tank without a long qt first.

    There are many different substrates you can choose from. The most basic gravel and sand, give nothing to the plants. But you can grow plants in them by adding roots tabs. There are more expensive substrates made especially for plants. I ues dirt because its cheaper and I like it the most! Do a little research and figure out what you think would be best for you. You and your gf can have a fun Christmas day figuring it all out. I'm a little jealous ;)

    Post a wtb ad for your area, you might be able to find someone willing to share used media. Some pet stores will also hook you up. Just ask around.
    ​ DIRTY 4 LIFE
    Once you go dirt, you never go back!!!!!

  9. #29
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    This time last year i got a 10 gallon and put two blue crayfish in it. They had fry and before I knew it i had to upgrade. I then moved onto community tanks with angels, cigar sharks, tetras. and thats where I am now.

    28g Flatback Hex = Community FW
    55g = Community FW

  10. #30
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    my father had a 55 gal growing up, mixed community tank, silver dollars, catfish, an ID shark.. that thing was soo cool as young one. ever since moved out on my own i;ve had fish, got hooked on larer aquariums and african cichlids for a long time. Even bred and sold them for a while. A few people on here have purchased from me. Fav was a wild caught colony of frontosa's
    From then i moved to salt water. I love the diversity and options. Now I help people with selections and tank set ups and odering product. I work with Maritime Reef as the Moncton rep and love it. meeting new people, helping out where I can.
    Currently setting up a framless 100 gallon cube! stay tuned for that one.

  11. #31
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    I grew up on a river (Kennebecasis River), and was always catching/keeping different aquatic animals (Eels, perch, minnows, gasperau, tommycod, etc...) as random pets... always fascinated me but was never allowed anything more than a goldfish in the house.... moved out and got away from fish for a bit, but came back with a vengence! Now I'm 90% Salt, but I still have a few FW fish (Mayan Cichlid, 3x Red Terrors) left... I just moved into a new place, next projects are a 75 Gallon reef and a 300 Gallon Reef later in 2014!

  12. #32
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    It has been rather a while back from when my family got their first fish...

    When i was about six, I remember my mother bought two bettas. One was blue that was named Sonic, and the other one was black and named Shadow.. yeah. I think the aquarium was the spare 25 gallon that I have currently, the two would fight and fight every day till shadow was killed. At the time, my brothers and myself found it amusing, but didn't know the outcome. Eventually the betta died, probably because of poor water conditons. Then we had three goldfishes bought for ourselves.. they looked like tiny kois, or even twin tails.. but either way! Mine was bullied the most, it eventually jumped out because it probably didn't have enough room in the tank. My twin's goldfish died probably from health related issues, and my older brother's goldfish lived the longest, but eventually jumped out of the tank as well.

    We stopped owning fish for a while till my mum met my stepfather about twelve years ago or even more, and he was a fish owner for the most part with several aquariums. My mum bought a few angelfish fry from Walmart when they used to sell fish back in the day. the fry were a mix of marble and black laced.. which Lucifer originated. As the years gone by, the angelfish fry would slowly disappear one by one till only two were left. By this time, my step father had set up his 55 gallon, two twenties, the 25 gallon, three ten gallons, etc... And started with two female guppies, and one male guppy.. need to say that he ended with hundreds, filling up the majority of aquariums. He even sold guppies by the dozen, such as ten guppies for fifteen dollars or such. Eventually he sold all the fish, except the angelfish, and we agreed to move the aquarium into my room since I was going to look after them. I fed them a little too much, because I believed that they needed to eat whenever I ate, so besides the water being dirty of biological waste, they were nice and fat all the time.. lol. About a year from then, the aquarium was moved out of my room and into the den, where we had bought two clown loaches, a emerald cory, and black peppered cory. Down the road, a family friend gave us a rio-negro pleco that was supposed to clean the tank.. nope! either way, a few years ago, one of the clown loaches died, and about a year and a half ago, the last of the two of the angelfishes died because it and Lucifer had been fighting a lot, and had his eyes bit out and.. I won't go into detail.

    So that brings us not too long ago, I hulled out the 55 gallon first and I got that going with the UGF and custom filters with wool and charcoal in them as my stepdad has told me. I took his word over my own judgement since I knew he had been doing it longer than me. When I got my first aquarium plant: Hygrophilia, which did okay for about two weeks before it started to show serious signs of malnourishment. I'm even surprised that it survived with no dosing, and charcoal in the filter to even take out additional nutrients. I had bought two green cabomba, a week before I noticed the nutrient deficiency in the tank. The green cabomba had been hit the hardest, only one strand survived when I started to dose the tank. Then.. I found AKA Reefs, a week after when they brought in their first batch of aquarium plants.

    To the current day, Doing rather well, disregarding the 55 gallon bowing slightly, and the second 20 gallon long having the wrong substrate in it, possibly toxic to fish and the plants inside... So yeah, I'm at that step. Knowledgeable, but still going through trial-and-error, and helpful advice from people on this fantastic website.
    Edit: Lucifer (Black Laced Angelfish), Charles (Clown Loach), and the two cories listed earlier are still kicking.

    Thank you.

  13. #33
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    We use to live in Shelburne and would go to the beach, to cold to swim in the ocean but the 'LITTLE ISOLATED LAKES' left behind after high tide was lovely and warm. I started to notice there was life in these bodies of water. I wanted to save them so I would look and take them back to the ocean. now every body of water I see I look for the fish.(even water puddles) ;) I was not allowed dogs or cats because of allergies in the family so I was finally allowed a 5 1/2g for my 15th birthday.(took me that long to convince them that a fishbowl was not good enough anymore) I got two guppies and one female. one algea eater Merlin.
    They had babies and I needed a bigger tank, I settled for a 15g had it for years; moved back down here and exchanged geckos for a 55g. Got a Oscar because of coming on this site and them that tank sprung a leak, got a new 55g realized it was too narrow for the long finned red tiger Oscar and gave him away. Then I went out and got a 90g for two red Oscars they died. now I have Africans in the 90g and community planted in the 55g. I have a 2nd cousin who helps me with the water changes and now she is gun ho for fish! I also have a 8g in my room to watch while I am sick in bed.
    P.S. I have a pond I still look into to see the fish. old habits die hard.
    But it wasn't my fault teacher, my fish ate my homework

  14. #34
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by ivorylace Click here to enlarge
    We use to live in Shelburne and would go to the beach, to cold to swim in the ocean but the 'LITTLE ISOLATED LAKES' left behind after high tide was lovely and warm. I started to notice there was life in these bodies of water. I wanted to save them so I would look and take them back to the ocean. now every body of water I see I look for the fish.(even water puddles) ;) I was not allowed dogs or cats because of allergies in the family so I was finally allowed a 5 1/2g for my 15th birthday.(took me that long to convince them that a fishbowl was not good enough anymore) I got two guppies and one female. one algea eater Merlin.
    They had babies and I needed a bigger tank, I settled for a 15g had it for years; moved back down here and exchanged geckos for a 55g. Got a Oscar because of coming on this site and them that tank sprung a leak, got a new 55g realized it was too narrow for the long finned red tiger Oscar and gave him away. Then I went out and got a 90g for two red Oscars they died. now I have Africans in the 90g and community planted in the 55g. I have a 2nd cousin who helps me with the water changes and now she is gun ho for fish! I also have a 8g in my room to watch while I am sick in bed.
    P.S. I have a pond I still look into to see the fish. old habits die hard.
    A fish pond sounds great, unfortunately winter probably doesn't do it all that well for the most part, eh?

  15. #35
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    I was just a young lad about 10 years old I bought my first tank and fantails with my strawberry picking money! It was a 5 gallon and I've always had fish since until I was 26 and had something go wrong in my tank and everything died .... I sold the tank about a month before I got back into the hobby after my gf told me I need more hobbits while on ei haha so I bought a L177 pleco and went pleco crazy! And here I am !

  16. #36
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Illusionist Click here to enlarge
    A fish pond sounds great, unfortunately winter probably doesn't do it all that well for the most part, eh?
    I had a floating heater in the pond saved three of 7 goldfish
    But it wasn't my fault teacher, my fish ate my homework

  17. #37
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by ivorylace Click here to enlarge
    I had a floating heater in the pond saved three of 7 goldfish
    Well, could've been worse I guess. Sorry about your loss.

  18. #38
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    My parents got me a tank with goldfish when I was little I had a black one with a protruding eye named Peter and then got rid of tank and had bettas and now for the past five years I had cichlids and live bearing fish and currently trying egg laying fish

  19. #39
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    Just wanted to say hi currently in Toronto and can't seem to access my ecas account ' .

  20. #40
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    I got into the hobby because of my two uncles and especially my dad.

    I remember my dad having a basement just full of triple stacked aquariums from wall to wall he had everything from corals to all kinds of discus and cichlids which he bred and when I got old enough to help him that's when my curiosity became an obsession and I have been in the hobby ever since.

    Biggest tank I have ever owned is a 500 gallon 220 gallon then 180 gallon my most recent was the 180 gallon which I sold just before I moved to the east coast.

    I now just own a 55 gallon which I am prepping and starting to buy my basic stuff again.

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